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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Tax Levy vs. Tax Rate...there is a difference!

It was announced on the Observer Dispatch website that as of right now, the 2019 projected tax rate increase for Town of New Hartford's taxpayers will be 3.7 per cent.
"The new budget represents a 3.7 percent tax increase, Miscione said. Had the board adopted Miscione’s proposed budget – which was submitted in early October – the tax increase would have been 0.9 per cent."

Au contraire, mon frere!

It merely means that you are spending more than was appropriated in the 2018 budget! I have no idea where the 0.9% tax rate increase came from; it certainly didn't show up in any of my calculations. I tried to explain it to the town supervisor a couple of weeks ago, but he obviously didn't understand or else he didn't believe me. However, when calling the aforementioned 3.7% the tax rate increase, he is wrong...

The budget increase that the town supervisor speaks of is actually an increase in appropriations, in other words, he is spending more than the 2018 adopted budget...and more than the Tentative Budget (the supervisor's budget) which the town board received on October 5, 2018 and even more than the Preliminary Budget that was adopted for the October 24, 2018 Public Hearing. And in all honesty, the Preliminary Budget that was presented at tonight's Public Hearing was even higher than the Preliminary budget that was handed out at the Public Hearing on October 24, 2018. Don't know how and when the additional items were added, but it was not done in view of the public at tonight's public hearing.

I made a spreadsheet to show each of the increases in projected appropriations (expenses) that have occurred since the 2018 adopted budget:
Here's a larger pdf to view the spreadsheet

As you can readily see, the increase the town supervisor is stating is 3.37% actually represents the amount of additional expense over the adopted 2018 budget that the town board anticipates will be needed to operate in 2019. The spending (appropriations) minus estimated revenue and/or fund balance equals the tax levy or the amount of your tax dollars that have to be collected to meet those expenses. Divide by the total assessed value of each fund and you have the tax rate per thousand.

Now, let's look at the actual increase in the 2019 tax rate:

Here's a larger pdf to view the spreadsheet

The tax rate is the dollar rate per thousand of assessed value of your property used to calculate your yearly tax bill. So taxpayers living in both the Village of New York Mills and the Village of New Hartford as well as residents in the town outside both villages (basically everyone) will see a 6.91% increase in the tax rate per thousand of assessed value in the General Wholetown tax.

Taxpayers living in the Village of New Hartford and those living in the town outside the villages will see an additional 6.91% increase in the Police tax rate making it almost a 14% total increase in the tax rate for those residents on the 2019 Town Tax bill that will be received at the end of December.

As discussed at tonight's meeting, this could all change if the town board decides to tax residents living in the portion of the Village of New York Mills that is in the Town of New Hartford for police protection.

And they haven't even started paying for the new building yet!

I will have the video of the meeting and executive session up later this week as my time permits.

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